Editorial & Funding Standards

PBS Editorial Standards and Policies

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is committed to serving the public interest by providing content of the highest quality that enriches the marketplace of ideas, unencumbered by commercial imperative. Throughout PBS’s history, four fundamental principles have guided that commitment.

  • Editorial integrity: PBS content should embrace the highest commitment to excellence, professionalism, intellectual honesty and transparency. In its news and information content, accuracy should be the cornerstone.
  • Quality: PBS content should be distinguished by professionalism, thoroughness, and a commitment to experimentation and innovation.
  • Diversity: PBS must be responsive to a diverse public and has a responsibility to explore subjects of significance and the marketplace of ideas.
  • Local station autonomy: Local decision-making ensures topical and relevant content and allows PBS member stations to reflect the communities they serve.

PBS’s responsibility to the public also demands a continuing understanding of emerging technologies and the changing ways the public consumes information.

Read or download the complete editorial standards for PBS:
Icon Editorial Standards and Policies (137.3 KB)

PBS Funding Standards and Practices

The PBS National Program Funding Standards and Practices rest on three fundamental principles:

  • Public television is a major participant in the great tradition of a free and independent American press. Therefore, public television must protect its journalistic integrity and it must reinforce the accurate perception that it is a free and independent institution.
  • Public television's nonprofit, noncommercial status contributes to its independence and public television also enjoys certain financial and other benefits by virtue of its noncommercial, nonprofit status. Therefore, its noncommercial character must be preserved.
  • The diversity of program funding sources is a key element in the preservation of a free and independent public television system. Therefore, these guidelines should encourage national program underwriting from all corners of the public and private sector.

Click here to read the complete funding standards and practices for PBS